Architect earns Schuler Award for Palm Beach house near Mar-a-Lago

Architect Phillip James Dodd says he carefully weighed his options once he was tasked with designing a house for a wide but shallow lot facing the coastal road in Palm Beach’s Estate Section. 

How could he make the most of the property’s buildable “envelope,” which was 240 feet in length but only 39 feet deep at its narrowest point? 

His solution for the property at 1020 S. Ocean Blvd. was a highly detailed Mediterranean-style home with an elongated silhouette and three distinct, stepped-back segments. Set at an angle, the house stretches along the property north to south with a footprint that’s one-room deep in most places. 

“Everyone thinks this house is bigger than it is,” Dodd told an audience last week before he accepted the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s 2022 Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award. 

John Schuler Jr., left, presents the 2022 Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award to architect Phillip James Dodd for his design of a new Mediterranean-style house in the Estate Section during a Tuesday ceremony at the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.

The honor, as Foundation President and CEO Amanda Skier described it, recognizes “new architecture that expresses superior design and complements the architectural history of Palm Beach.” 

John Schuler Jr., whose parents spearheaded and endowed the award, presented it to Dodd Tuesday at the foundation’s building on Peruvian Avenue.

“Thank you very much. It means a tremendous amount to me,” Dodd said, noting that the award would get the “pride-of-place” spot in his office. 

The award presentation returned to the foundation’s calendar after a year’s hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The first award ceremony took place in 2006. 

Read about the 2020 award:Brazilian architect wins Schuler Award for Glazers’ modern-style house

In her introductory remarks, Skier praised Dodd’s design for artfully blending “the traditional architecture of the area with the modern needs of a 21st-century home.” She noted that the house did not require any zoning variances to build.

The design also won the Architectural Commission’s unanimous approval on its initial review in 2018. 

A Mediterranean-style house designed by Phillip James Dodd for a lot at 1020 S. Ocean Blvd. has won the architect the 2022 Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award for new architecture, bestowed by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.

Based in Greenwich, Connecticut, Dodd is principal of Phillip James Dodd Bespoke Residential Design LLC. Born in England, he has lived in the United States since 1996 and has written a number of books on architectural history. 

The house on South Ocean Boulevard was his first Palm Beach commission. But he gained experience working in town with architect and Architectural Commission Vice Chairman Richard Sammons during the restoration and expansion some 20 years ago of Il Palmetto, a landmarked Mediterranean-style estate designed by noted architect Maurice Fatio. 

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